Giving birth


You're bound to have lots of questions about giving birth. Here we look at what might happen during labour, including the different stages of labour, how you might be feeling, what's happening to your body and your baby, and your choices when it comes to pain relief.

Giving birth

Hormones play an important role in all stages of labour and birth. Here we discuss the impact they have in terms of pain relief and other physical and emotional changes.
Having your baby at a birth centre or a midwife-led unit can be a good option. We discuss the pros and cons and the flexibility you have in choosing your birth environment.
Where you decide to give birth affects your experience. This article discusses the options available including giving birth at home, at a birth centre or at a hospital.
Find out about the birth choices available in your area in the UK. This tool from Which? Birth Choice gives you options and information so you can choose where you would like to...
This article discusses hospital birth: what happens before, during and after. What are the pros and cons and what do you need to take when packing your hospital bag?
This article looks at how your body copes with pain naturally during labour and what you can do to manage and relieve the pain of contractions and childbirth.
Find out about the different options available for pain relief in labour, including epidural, pethidine, TENS and other means of reducing discomfort before and during childbirth.
Having a birthing partner present can make a woman feel supported in labour, so it is always good to plan ahead. Read about how a birth partner can help in pregnancy.
There are pros and cons to giving birth at home. Here we answer common questions about the advantages and disadvantages of home birth to help you make an informed decision.
To encourage a straightforward birth (a ‘natural birth’) you can do several things during labour. Find out about positions, dealing with contractions, induction and more.
Read about the second stage of labour, including birthing positions, your cervix being fully dilated at 10cm, your baby ‘bearing down’ and what to do in prolonged labour.
This article looks at how to arrange a home birth through NHS midwives, your GP or with an independent midwife. They can also help you plan if you are giving birth at home.